Updated: Jul 31
So, your plans have pretty much all been canceled, you’re stuck at home, and you can’t escape the terrifying daily news. How are you feeling?
Many of us say we’re doing okay, given the strange circumstances we all find ourselves in. But the problem is that we may not know exactly what to look for when it comes to signs that our mental wellness is wavering.
Furthermore, catching these subtle signs can oftentimes prevent them from developing into more severe cases. So while it may be easy to dismiss these subtle signs as “not that bad,” it’s important to address them before they progress.
6 Subtle Signs Your Mental Wellness Needs Attention
1. Your Sleep is Different
If you find yourself sleeping more or less than usual, it could be a sign that your mental health is not doing well. We know your daily routine is probably disrupted, and your sleep may be too, but it’s still something to pay attention to.
Sleep disturbances may be the result of a deeper issue, but inadequate sleep may also be contributing to a down mood, anxiety, and other issues. It’s important to pay attention to, and possibly track, any changes in your sleep.
2. You’re Fatigued
Fatigue doesn’t just refer to feeling tired – it can mean an inability to make decisions or focus, as well as having low energy. This may be particularly relevant if you’ve noticed that you’re sleeping more than usual yet still feel sluggish.
3. You’ve Lost Interest in Things You Used to Enjoy
The technical term for this is anhedonia. While our interests and hobbies are bound to be disrupted right now, anhedonia is being unable to find pleasure in just about anything. This phenomenon can be linked to a range of possible causes, but it’s oftentimes associated with depression.
4. You’d Rather Stay Home
We know, you’re supposed to stay home right now. But isolation can also be emotional isolation from loved ones. Wanting some alone time is one thing, but isolation often stems from feelings of worthlessness or hopelessness. Not wanting to stay connected to people you love could be a sign that you're not doing well mentally.
5. Changes in Appetite or Digestion
Overeating can be a way of self-medicating, while a loss of appetite may be the result of excess stress hormones. Changes in digestion can also be linked to our mental state. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), for example, often coexists with anxiety. Anxiety can trigger IBS, but IBS can also fuel anxiety.
6. Muscle Tension or Body Aches
Muscle tension can be associated with anxiety. Anxiety can oftentimes cause people to subconsciously tense their muscles. This is frequently found in the neck/shoulder area or jaw clenching. But many people with depression also report having chronic pain throughout their body.
Ultimately, if you’re feeling at all “off”, it’s worth looking into. It's always best to address issues early and find a plan of action that works for you.
Blanchfield, Theodora. (2019, August 25). “Subtle signs you need to care for your mental health.” Retrieved from https://www.theladders.com/career-advice/subtle-signs-you-need-to-care-for-your-mental-health
Booth, Stephanie & MacMillan, Amanda. (2016, April 22). Retrieved from https://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20646990,00.html?slide=96270#96270
Boyd, J. Lucy. “Depression Signs of Withdrawal From People.” Retrieved from https://www.livestrong.com/article/113928-depression-signs-withdrawal-people/
Newman, Tim. (2018, January 31). “Understanding Anhedonia: What Happens in The Brain?” Retrieved from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320737.php